Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Oakland paper, Oakland people

By awoodall
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 at 12:27 pm in Oakland nightlife, Uptown.

This week just has not been going well, which is strange because it should be considering how beautiful the weather is. Friday night Oakland felt like it was about to blossom after the foul rain and wind that battered us for what seemed like forever. I was out at Flora — my first time, but seeing as it is THE hot-spot right now and I’m writing a follow-up story about the Uptown area, I pulled up a stool at the vintage-style bar and ordered a “Dark and Stormy” cocktail, which would describe this week so far. Maybe it was a sign of things to come?
Enough has been said about Flora, good and bad, so I’ll only comment that it felt like Bogart and Bacall might show up any minute. That’s the kind of vibe the bar and exterior have. The restaurant is different.  So there I was, a little tired, leafing through the Trib when Ira, who’s on the Fox team sidled up to the bar. I have to say the New Yorker brightened the mood. So did seeing a young man and his father sitting next to us reading a story about the reopening of the Fox Oakland theater I had just written in the Trib. What a grand sight. Oakland paper, Oakland restaurant, Oakland folks.
I was testing the renaissance hype about how Flora and the Fox, along with the Paramount, are going to ignite the area and draw people to the existing clubs, like Van Kleef’s and the Uptown, where I headed next. People were indeed out in numbers and looking good that balmy evening for a Jill Scott/Raheem Devaughn show at the Paramount and the band at the Uptown (sorry, forget the name of the band but people were definitely rocking out). The place was packed with night owls, including a reader — a librarian from the East Coast — who was there for the first time having won tickets for the show. It’s interesting to get a perspective from folks that have recently moved here because, seems to me, things are changing fast.  They’ll never know the experience of bountiful parking the way it used to be. Okay, I’d rather sacrifice parking (which I did that night) for some nightlife. But that’s just me. Anyone else noticing this? Are you ready for the trade-off?

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